Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Women in the Word ... Philipians 4:13... Are You Content?

I'm sure you've read this scripture or heard it a thousand times over. It is encouraging, gives you strength, gives you boldness.

But have you read the scriptures right above it? Do you know that when it was written while Paul was in prison? Have you read the whole story?

I honestly had not. I mean, yes. I have read Philippians many times but never did I really pay attention to the scriptures above it. I just always skimmed over those till that one would jump off the page at me and scream, WAHOO! You can do everything with Christ who gives you the strength to do it.

Let's look at the scriptures above it.

"I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength"

See that bolded part up there? That. Yep. Content in all situations. Does that mean everything is going to be coming up daisy's and roses and you'll skip through life on a cloud? Nope. Not at all. 

In fact, the Word tells us that when we live for Christ, when we give our life over to him, we're going to face trouble. We are going to face adversity. We are going to have hardships and that is part of living for Christ. 

God didn't say it was going to be an easy road:

"In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" 2 Timothy 3:12

We are going to face hardships in life as we walk in an ungodly world. We face struggles every day that we can learn to be content in. 

What does it mean to be content? Does it mean you're shouting for joy and running around laughing and smiling? Not necessarily. 

To be content means : 

"in a state of peaceful happiness"

Peaceful happiness. In John 16:33 Christ tells us, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Philippians 4 tells us that we can overcome adversity. We can overcome anything this world throws at us because Christ lives in us. Yes! We can do all things through Christ! Yes, we CAN have peace and contentment when the world around us is going crazy and we wonder what we did wrong to deserve this. 

Remember you did nothing wrong! We have twisted things in our minds to say that hardship means we're doing this wrong and God is punishing us for something. That's not the truth. In Acts the early church was facing hardship because they were doing the right things. They were telling others about Jesus and the religious leaders at the time were not happy about that. 

So, when you remember this favorite scripture of so many people around the world... Don't forget... Hard times will come. Tough times can hit you when you least expect it. However, don't forget what His word tells us. We have peace through Him. He has overcome all this. We can find contentment when things are rough when we keep our eyes, hearts, and minds focused on Him. 

I encourage you to read Philippians this week. Share your thoughts on this scripture in the comments below. Ask God to help remind you that even when tough times come, He's in control. He's got this in His hands. He can help you be content in all situations, both plenty and none!

Love you all and have an amazingly wonderful day!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

You're Called to Missions... Yes, You!

You Are a Missionary

When you think of missions or missionary, what comes to mind? You probably picture a person heading into the darkest jungles of Africa or sneaking through the streets of Vietnam. Maybe you picture people headed into China or the Philippines on mission’s trips to share the Word and build homes or churches.

However, did you realize that you are called to be a missionary? You are called to mission work just as much as those who travel outside of the country to share the love of God. You are called to be a missionary right where you are.

You may think it’s crazy and that can’t be the truth. Maybe you think I’ve lost my marbles and that mission work is for someone else entirely.

Hear me out. Missions work is for everyone. Whether you’re in high school walking the halls between classes or sitting at a desk working, you’re called to missions.

In the first chapter of Acts, Christ is talking with the disciples before He ascends to Heaven. In Acts 1:8 He says:

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Let’s break that down to make it applicable to our lives today.

Jerusalem – This is our sphere of influence, where we are every single day of our lives. This is your family in your own home, your extended family, and friends. This is your neighborhoods and community. You have the opportunity to share the gospel with them wherever you are. Your Jerusalem is where you are right now and in your daily life.

Judea and Samaria – This is further out from your home and community. This could be the next town over or another state you’re sharing the light with others. Go beyond your comfort zone and reach out to the hurting and lost that you don’t know personally. Yes, it’s scary. Believe me, I totally understand that shock and fear that runs through your veins when you think of stopping and praying with someone you don’t know or sharing your testimony in front of strangers. When I was asked to share my testimony at a recent community event, it was frightening. However, I also felt God leading me to start sharing more and that someone needs to hear it. Don’t let fear stop what God wants to do with you. You're never alone as He’s always by your side.

Ends of the Earth – You can have an effect on people around the world. You can do this through your giving to missions, prayers for those in the field, and even maybe take a mission’s trip yourself some time. There are many opportunities each year to go on a trip to assist with outreach and missions. It doesn’t even have to be out of the country. The U.S. is a large mission field in itself. It can be something such as heading to areas that have been damaged and helping to rebuild or going on a trip to an area that needs the love of Christ to shine through.

Consider the butterfly effect. This is an idea that small causes can have a much bigger impact than you might think. You might also think of a ripple in the water. As you drop a stone in the water the ripples get bigger and bigger as they travel out on the water. What you do today will have an effect on someone later down the road.

So, remember, you’re called to missions. You’re called to be a light into the darkness where you are. You can help out at an event in your community, pray with someone you meet, or just share your testimony one on one with someone who needs to hear about the life-changing power that Christ brings.

Remember Acts 1:8, you will receive power to be witnesses. God’s got your back. Go out today and change your Jerusalem, Judea or Samaria for Christ!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Weekly Wrap-up (Several Weeks Now)

Whew! It's been over a month since I wrote up a "weekly" wrap-up post. I guess time sure flies when you're having fun, huh? So, without further ado, here's what our last month or so of homeschool has looked like.

Adventures in Life
Well, this past month we have watched an eclipse, gone through a hurricane hitting our state and home, went on a field trip and visited my brother and sister-in-law. Whew! That's a busy time just in itself, not including our everyday other things. Boo Bear has started theater back in the past week and is working on his fall play. He's super excited to be back in theater and Mama is just trying to get back into the busy fall routine that always hits about this time. 

Let's take a look at our studies: 

Field Trip
We went to a science museum and utilized their free homeschool day back in August. It was a nice trip and was a different museum than the one we typically visit each year. Mimi and Papa were able to tag along this year but alas, Nana was not available. We'll have to plan another trip with her. 

There were lots of fun hands on things going on and of course, dinosaurs were amuck!!! 

We had a blast touring all the different exhibits and Boo Bear got to be a weatherman for a bit. Little did we know as we rode out a Category 1 Hurricane in the simulator together that in less than a month we'd be staring down the barrel of a Cat 5 coming ashore. Thankfully, God is still in control and the storm diminished quicker than they expected so by the time it reached us it was around a Cat 1-2. You know it's something when your weathermen in the state say that they do not have a reason to explain why the storm did what it did except that there were thousands of prayers going up. Yay God! 

Boarding up our windows in prep for the storm.

Don't get me wrong. There was still devastation, we were without power for 5 days and many others are still in the stage of total destruction as their homes are gone, power is still out and they are not sure what to do next. Please don't stop the prayers coming for our state or those in Puerto Rico, the islands Mexico.

Our Studies
We've finished up the science history chapter and have moved on to the next module. This is going a little slower than we might normally go as we are doing an 8th grade science this year. We are having fun, enjoying the journey and moving as we can. 

Math is moving along and we're in Chapter 3, decimals. Whew! Those things can be boogers but Boo Bear is grasping it well so far. We are staying pretty much on pace with what I had envisioned for this first semester before the fall/winter holidays bring so I'm happy with it. 

Reading is going well and he's showing great skills in reading comprehension. He's also moving right along in his Geography, Writing, and Reading work books. He is struggling with spelling so we are working with some tips and tricks to help that. If you have any to help, that'd be awesome!! 

We also viewed the eclipse this year as well. That was a fun day in our home. Papa and Mimi came over at the peak so they could borrow our solar glasses and had a lesson on eclipse science with Papa.

Safety first!!
We also made up some of the view boxes so that everyone could have a good time seeing the eclipse together. 

There were some cool things going on with the leaves in the trees during the peak times. 

Did you get to watch it? Were you in a great location to see totality? Let me know!

That's a little glimpse into our homeschooling adventures for the past month or so. I hope you all have had wonderful adventures yourself and hope that we see you around the blogosphere! 

Be blessed and have a wonderful week ahead. 

**I'm linked up with Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers this week. Stop by and check out some other great homeschooling blogs!**

Thursday, September 14, 2017

After the Storm....

So, unless you've been hiding in a hole somewhere lately, you know that Hurricane Irma has been bearing down on the state of Florida for a week or more. Sunday morning it moved onto land. When you're staring down the barrel of a Cat 3,4,5 hurricane, many things go through your mind. Many things weigh on your heart and you're faced with life changing decisions at every turn.

This is the first major hurricane we've had in Florida since we moved 9 years ago. We've had minor things come up or down one side of the coast or other that wasn't much to worry about. Yes it caused some flooding and things, but we've never faced a Category 5 storm that looked to hit Florida head on.

Now, we have. Just in case you haven't seen the shot, this right here says it all...

Hurricane Andrew was one of the worst storms that hit Florida until, September 10, 2017. For more than a week I've faced the news with worry, concern, prayers, wondering what to do. Do you stay? Do you go? Many people evacuated from one coast to the other only to find they evacuated right into the path the storm was taking.

Thankfully there were thousands of prayers going up all over the world. I mean thousands, maybe even millions that were going up for the state of Florida. For the storm itself to reduce/dissipate, calm itself down before it hit landfall.

This past weekend we boarded up the windows of our home. I put things in bags to protect them should the water decide to come in instead of staying out. We got our supplies and we hunkered down to prepare for the worst storm ever.

So, through all of this, I've learned some things. Some valuable lessons to take with me from now on out.

1. Stress wreaks havoc on your body. Yeah I kind of knew that, but the past week has been crazy. Headaches days before the storm that were rough, having breakouts because I've been stressed, no sleep for days can really take a toll on you.

2. Being told to get ready for mass destruction is something you never want to face. It really isn't. I did find one weatherman that I felt comfortable watching as he seemed to keep it real. If he was panicked/nervous, you knew to be nervous.

3. When born and raised Floridians get nervous, it's time for you to get nervous. Course, I was nervous before then but Florida folks don't typically run from a hurricane. Until now.

4. Just because the storm is over, doesn't mean the rest is. I have had bad dreams about the past week. People are still without power, us included. People have lost everything they ever owned. Some have even lost their lives.

5. There are still amazing people in this world. No matter what the news may try to portray otherwise, there are some amazing, kind, goodhearted people in this world. People that risk their lives driving into the heart of the storm to wait and help with the aftermath.

6. God is still in the miracle working business. The weatherman here I watch said it best. He said there's no other explanation for why this Cat 5 storm that has been raging for so long reduced like it did other than the massive amount of prayers going up. There's no way to get around that. God took care of Florida that there wasn't anymore destruction than there is.

7. I've never felt so emotionally raw before in my life. Listening for days on end that this is the worst, baddest, biggest storm in history can wreak havoc on your emotions. Trying to make sure you and your family have the basic necessities to live without power for several days is nerve wracking when thousands of others are doing the same thing. Facing the unknown as you listen to the fact that the wind speeds are 100+ miles an hour and they are bearing down on your home.

8. Wind is scary. No matter if you're inside a strong building or not that storm was something that scared me to listen to. I didn't sleep at all. I was praying all night long to be honest. As I listened to the winds whip around our home, the pouring rain, and no power. It was something that you can't truly prepare yourself for until you're in the middle of it.

I know there's more to say but right now that's all I got. Please, if you're out of Florida, pray for the state. The cleanup is massive, people are on day number 4 or 5 without power, cell service, internet etc. Don't take anything for granted. Be grateful and thankful for all you have. Keep your prayers going for this state and all those affected by Hurricane Irma, and those by Hurricane Harvey. We all need them. We will recover. We will move forward. Things will get back to "normal" eventually for most of us. We will remain... Florida Strong.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Dear Movie Makers (And Anyone Else Listening)

Okay. So, something's been burning in my mind and heart recently. There have been a few shows we've seen that have a scary and infuriating trend. It's something that bugs the mess out of me and I just needed to get this out there. Just in case anyone was curious or didn't understand.

God does not run. 

See, recently there have been a couple of shows that have God on the run. They have Him disappearing and the whole story is behind chasing God down to find out why He left and what He's going to do to protect them now. 

I have something to tell you. My God does not run from a fight. He does not run period. He's always there, always watching, always waiting for you to run to Him. See anytime you read in the Old Testament about a battle or struggle, God went before His people and His hand was on them the entire way. There's no God getting frustrated and just up and leaving. He doesn't do that. He's not one to run from a fight or go in the opposite direction of opposition. 

Job 36:32 says:

"He fills his hands with lightning and commands it to strike its mark"

Do you think the one who can tell lightning where to strike is going to run away with His feelings hurt? I think not.

It's frustrating to me because while I know better, and most Christians know better, those who don't know God can't tell the difference. They may believe that God would do that if things get bad or may use it as an excuse to say well God doesn't love me, look at what's gone on in my life.

Friend, that could not be further from the truth. God does love you and wants what is best for you. God doesn't run from the tough times in your life, He runs to them. He is there carrying you every step of the way, no matter what the situation may be.

Psalm 46:1-2 says:
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea..."

So just in case you were wondering. Just in case you might have been confused or otherwise thought that was true. My God doesn't run. He doesn't go hide because things get tough or there's a revolt in heaven. My God stands firm. He's an ever-present help whether you want Him to be or not. He's always there. Always waiting for you to run to His open arms.

God doesn't run.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Thankful Thursday

850. I'm thankful for an amazing time this week watching the eclipse with my kiddo, Mimi, and Papa.

851. I'm thankful for a new coffee cup which I think fits perfectly.

852. I'm thankful for the book of James. It is not always easy to read but it is always full of life changing words.

853. I'm thankful for Turbo coffee.

854. I'm thankful that in the morning, very early in the morning, I can wear my hoodie cuz it's juuuusssttt cool enough in my office to. You know, without dying of heat stroke.

855. I am thankful that there is a season of slow down before the fall kicks in to high gear.

856. I'm thankful that no matter how many times you read a verse in the Bible, it can always bring a new inspiration.

857. I'm thankful for Wal-Mart Neighborhood pickup. It has totally changed my grocery shopping habits this month.

858. I'm thankful that God's got our back through every situation. Our backs, our fronts, our sides, up and down.

859. I'm thankful for a girls day last week with my mom and my bestie. It was a much needed time for all of us.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Wednesdays in the Word...

This week's Wednesday in the Word is focused on the battle. It's not one we can always see with our physical eyes. Everyday we face issues, troubles, situations that we may not understand or we may not see a way out. Maybe you're in a situation or your loved one is in a place where a battle is raging. It could be something physical such as an ailment or disease that you're praying about. Perhaps you are facing a battle with your job, your family, or something different altogether.

God reminds us everyday that He is fighting our battles for us. He is our shelter in the storm and an ever present help. In Psalms 91:1-2 the bible says:

"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress. My God, in Him I will trust'."

Think of a mother bird with her babies. When she is tucking them in for the evening or when danger is around, where do they go? They run under the shelter of her wings and she wraps them up tight to protect them. 

This is exactly what God does. He is a powerful fortress and shelter for His children. You can run to Him and He puts you under His wings. He wraps those arms around you and protects you from the battles that rage around you. 

Romans 8:31 reminds us that:

"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?"

You can rest in the peace and knowledge that God is fighting for you. He has your back. He's never going to leave you or forsake you. Even when the road is tough. Even when everything around you seems to be falling and breaking down. Even when you can't do anything but cry out to God. Cry out to Him. He's there sheltering you and protecting you. 

You must remember that everything is for a purpose. The trial you're going through, the problems or struggles you may face, they have a reason and a purpose. God is using those and will use those to move you to a deeper place with Him. Your pain is for a reason. Your struggle has a meaning and a purpose. 

If you have anything you would like me to pray with you about, please comment on the post and I'll add it to my prayer list. I pray every week that these posts can reach out to someone in need or someone hurting. They speak to me as I pray they do you. God loves you, He wants what is best for you and you have a purpose! 

Be Blessed!!!